Is Gum Disease Genetic?

While flipping through family photos, it can be fun to see which features you inherited from past generations! However, some similarities might not be so appealing. Did you know that gum disease can be passed down as well? Recent studies have discovered a link between tooth decay, advanced gum disease, and genetics. Read along as we discuss this relationship and what you can do to keep your teeth and gums healthy, despite your genes!

What Is Gum Disease?

Gum disease, also known as periodontitis, is caused by a bacterial infection in your mouth. The earliest stage of this condition is gingivitis (gum inflammation). If left untreated, it can turn into periodontitis and potentially lead to tooth loss. But don’t worry – early detection and treatment can prevent or even reverse gum disease!

Here are common signs and symptoms to look out for:

  • Red, swollen, and tender gums
  • Bleeding when brushing and flossing
  • Pus buildup between gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Receding gums
  • Pockets of infection along the gumline
  • Chronic bad breath (halitosis)

Is Gum Disease Genetic?

Studies have found that gum disease has a genetic component, meaning if you have a family history of the condition, you’re more likely to have problems with your gums. Aggressive periodontitis (a relatively rare disease that causes rapid bone loss around certain teeth) is often more common around members of the same family. Fortunately, being proactive and practicing good oral hygiene can prevent this disease from developing – no matter what your family tree says! Also, be sure to mention any genetic predispositions to your dentist to ensure they know what to search for during routine checkups.

How to Prevent Gum Disease

The best line of defense against gum disease is excellent oral care! Here are some steps you can take to protect your mouth:

Maintain Good Oral Hygiene

Practicing good oral hygiene is crucial to prevent plaque and bacteria buildup. To keep your mouth clean, brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes each time. Focus on the gum line, back teeth, and tongue! Don’t forget to floss daily as well. Although it’s often overlooked, it’s an essential step that removes harmful substances from the nooks and crannies that brushing can’t get.

Eat a Well-Balanced Diet

Frequent consumption of sugary, acidic, fatty, or processed foods can wreak havoc on your teeth and gums. Instead, eat a well-balanced diet full of nutritious foods! Apples, pears, celery, carrots, and cucumbers are just a few options that can benefit your oral health.

Avoid Tobacco Products

If you’re a tobacco user, that can also increase your risk of gum disease. Smoking weakens your body’s immune system and makes it harder for your gums to fight off infection. Thus, you should avoid tobacco products at all costs to keep your mouth in optimal condition.

Regularly Visit Your Dentist

Ideally, you should be seeing your dentist twice a year for routine cleanings and checkups. If they know you have a history of gum disease, they can be vigilant during oral examinations and prevent, detect, or treat it before it worsens.

Does gum disease run in your family? You don’t have to fall victim to it! By following the tips outlined above, you can keep your gums happy and healthy!


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